DETHONATOR Album Review: “Race Against The Sun: Part Two”

Album Review by Iron Mathew


Dethonator are a heavy metal band from the UK formed in 2002, releasing their self titled debut album in 2010 and their second album ‘Return To Damnation’ in 2013. ‘Monuments To Dead Gods’ E.P. was released in 2014. The bands debut album was remixed and partially re-recorded by the current line-up and released in 2016. ‘Race Against The Sun; Part One‘ was released in 2019, and is the first half of a double album release. The second half, ‘Race Against The Sun: Part Two’ was released in 2020.

The grandiose gallop of ‘Part One’ continues with ‘Part Two’ – seven songs over a forty minutes play time, which literally flies by. And you know why? There are no gaps between the songs… They seamlessly run on, making the album appear to be one forty minute long song! So no chance of a breather from the relentless heavy metal assault dished out by the band. So take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy Dethonator’s latest album based on Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’. Told in an epic storytelling vibe, ‘Race Against The Sun: Part Two’ opens with the albums longest song. At a little under eight minutes in length, ‘For The Dead Travel Fast’ is an epic way to begin the story. Setting a haunting and fairly chilling atmosphere, ‘For The Dead Travel Fast’ builds a crescendo for just over a minute, eventually giving way to a thundering mid tempo metal stroll. Echoing the classic sound of traditional heavy metal, Dethonator go through the gears a couple of times, changing the pace to a furious gallop, and back to a stroll again.

Without a break between songs, ‘Part Two’ moves quickly on with the hymn like opening of ‘Transylvanian Ways’, proceeding to explode into life with some savage riffing. And for six minutes ‘Transylvanian Ways’ switches between the mellower hymn like style, and the all out balls out heavy metal we’ve all come to expect from the band. And after just two songs, it’s clear to hear that Dethonator have got the whole story telling style off to a tee. The cinematic and theatric feel of ‘Part Two’ shines so brightly you just may need sunglasses. The NWOBHM styled ‘Wreck In Whitby’ is a fast paced and furious “foot on the monitor” gallop. The glorious sound of the buzz style guitars associated with one of the biggest evolutions in metal history is a joy to listen to, and gives this old metal head a warm fuzzy feeling, the exact same feeling I had nearly forty years when I first heard the NWOBHM “buzz”. A darker and much heavier feel takes over the album as ‘A New Kind Of Maniac’ comes to life and strides on purposefully. A little anthemic in delivery, ‘A New Kind Of Maniac’ encapsulates the dynamic of the cinematic surround sound.

The whole continuous delivery of the album is breathless, every song seamlessly joined. ‘Beautiful Death’ maintains the albums epic story telling, complete with a terrifying mid song narration. You know the kind, adds to the tension and builds a sense of fear. Dethonator are excelling themselves here, an album that has taken a long time to come to fruition has certainly been worth the wait. All the bands blood, sweat, and tears have not been in vain. A chilling narration breathes life into ‘Blood Of My Blood’ – a savage and feisty heavy hitter, complimented with some growled vocals. This style of vocal appeared on ‘Part One’, and has so far been limited on ‘Part Two’, but definitely comes to the fore here. It is also very clear that this is a British band, playing the British style of heavy metal, and playing it proudly, flying the flag for Britain high, very high indeed. The album, and indeed both parts, are brought to a close by the title song ‘Race Against The Sun’ – a seven and a half minute long epic. A chopping guitar rhythm sets ‘Race Against The Sun’ on its way, and everything Dethonator have in their musical locker is let loose, the band closing the album with a truly emphatic finale.

Overall, a fast paced and thundering gallop of epic story telling, delivered against a back drop of unabashed traditional heavy metal.


For The Dead Travel Fast
Transylvanian Ways
Wreck In Whitby
A New Kind Of Maniac
Beautiful In Death
Blood Of My Blood
Race Against The Sun

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